Mapping (Geo-)Autobiography: My Mental Map of the World

We usually have to stress to students in introductory geography classes that, despite the insistence of their high school football coach, er…. social studies teacher, that geography is not the memorization of maps.  I usually have an exercise to stress this on the first day of class, in which I have the students each draw mental maps of the world, using nothing but as many blank sheets as they like.  I wrote about this a couple weeks back, with examples of what they submitted.  It usually serves as an eye-opening experience for them, and they usually let out a big sigh of relief when I tell them it’s the last time they’ll be drawing maps for me.  Of course, I use it as a nice segue into what geography is really looking at, analyzing a selection of the maps on the overhead. Continue reading “Mapping (Geo-)Autobiography: My Mental Map of the World”

Geographic Literacy: Our Job Isn’t Finished

This week is Geography Awareness Week, a designation that started in 1987 via presidential proclamation to promote geographic literacy in education and in the general public.  Each GAW has a theme; this year’s is freshwater, which isn’t a terribly interesting topic to me personally.  But, as an educator and a geographer, geographic literacy is something I find to be quite important. Continue reading “Geographic Literacy: Our Job Isn’t Finished”